Happiness is a superpower. Happy people boast healthier hearts, get sick less often and have fewer aches and pains. They live longer, literally, have more friends, donate more to charity and feel more satisfied with their work as they do.
In American culture, at least, the pursuit of happiness isn’t a polarizing issue. It’s quite popular. It’s hard to imagine too many Americans taking issue with the credo Aristotle wrote some 2,400 years ago: “[Happiness is] the whole aim and end of human existence.” Routinely, though, our behavior seems to be at odds with that end goal. We rely on here-and-there shots of serotonin — retail therapy, social media, binge eating — rather than sculpting sustainable sources of gratification.